Today on Slashdot there’s a rousing discussion about the Singularity– the point where advances in technology happen so quickly it’s impossible predict what will be next. While many people whined about not having the flying cars they’ve been promised for fifty years, others observed how even today’s world would seem unbelievably complex to people from a century ago.

A great thought:

Rewind your brain fifteen years and imagine what you’d think if I told you:

Your computer will be roughly 1,000 faster than what you’re using today. You will probably have more than 4,000 times the memory, and a fast hard drive that stores over 100,000 times as much as that floppy you’re using. You can buy these supercomputers for less than $500 at Wal-Mart.

That computer will be hooked into a self-directed network that was designed by the Department of Defense and various universities – along with nearly 400,000,000 other machines. Your connection to this network will be 10,000 times faster than the 300 baud modem you’re using. In fact, it will be fast enough to download high-quality sound and video files in better than realtime.

There will be a good chance that your computer’s operating system will have been written by a global team of volunteers, some of them paid by their employers to implement specific parts. Free copies of this system will be available for download over the hyperfast network. You will have free access to the tools required to make your own changes, should you want to.

You will use this mind-bendingly powerful system to view corporate sponsored, community driven messages boards where people will whine about having to drive cars that are almost unimaginably luxurious compared to what you have today.